At the home of British motorsport, nearly 3,000 students from 38 countries will race single seat racing cars built from scratch at Formula Student 2014, taking place at Silverstone on July 9-13. After almost 12 months of planning, designing and building, the world’s best young engineers will descend to battle it out and see who will be crowned as champions.

Last year, an electric vehicle took the overall victory – beating the combustion engine – for the first time in its history. The Swiss Academic Motorsports Association Zürich won with flying colours.

Formula Student, run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, challenges universities from across the world to design, build and race a single-seat racing car in one year. The cars are then judged on their speed, acceleration and endurance, while the teams are tested on their design, costing and business presentation skills.

This year, there will be 280 women taking part – the highest number in Formula Student history – and the competition welcomes a team from China for the first time.

The competition is seen as one of the world’s best training grounds for young engineers and is supported by over 250 volunteer judges from motorsport and the wider engineering industry.

Formula Student alumni now occupy senior positions at nearly every Formula One team. This year’s event will be attended by Paddy Lowe, Executive Director of Mercedes AMG Petronas F1, Caterham’s Technical Director Mike Gascoyne, Willem Toet, Head of Aerodynamics at Sauber F1, and BBC science presenter Dallas Campbell.

Facts and Figures

  • 106 student teams from 38 countries have registered for Formula Student 2014, 37 of which are from UK universities.
  • Formula Student’s partners are Bosch, Shell, Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains, GKN, SAE International and Jaguar Land Rover.
  • Formula Student culminates in a competition to be held from the 9-13 July at Silverstone. The first Formula Student, held at the MIRA Proving Ground in July 1998, featured just seven teams.
  • Formula Student UK is part of a global series of similar events linked by organising body Formula SAE.
  • Ross Brawn, former Team Principal of the MERCEDES AMG Petronas Formula One Team is Patron of the competition.
  • The cars can go from 0-60mph in less than three seconds.
  • Formula Student usually forms part of the students’ engineering degree course and counts towards their final mark.
  • For new teams who may not have the experience to produce a fully working racecar, Class 2 encourages teams to submit their designs and any manufactured parts for judging.

Competition

Formula Student is composed of eight challenges and events with a separate amount of points allocated for each. These events combine to give a total score of 1,000 points.

Dynamic Events

  • Endurance (300 points)
    A gruelling 22km time-trial race around a specially-designed course built on the Silverstone circuit
  • Fuel Economy/CO2 emissions (100 points)
    Each car’s fuel economy and the amount of CO2 emitted is measured over the course of the Endurance event, with the most efficient vehicle gaining maximum points
  • Autocross (150 points)
    A single ‘sprint’ time-trial lap around a specially-designed ½ mile course built on the Silverstone circuit
  • Acceleration (75 points)
    A drag race over 75 metres from a standing start
  • Skid-Pad (50 points)
    A time-trial over four laps of a small figure-of-eight course, testing the cars’ handling

Static Events

  • Engineering Design (150 points)
    The car’s design is inspected by industry experts, who then award points based on the engineering effort and innovation that has gone into the car
  • Business Presentation (75 points)
    The teams give a ‘Dragon’s Den’- style presentation to a panel of industry judges.Their aim is to convince the executives of a corporation that the team’s design best meets the demands of the amateur, weekend competition market and that it can be profitably manufactured and marketed
  • Cost and Sustainability (100 points)
    The teams present their costings and the sustainability of their car, with points awarded to teams who have both made the most of their funds and have considered sustainability in the car’s materials and manufacturing process. The cost event rewards sensible budgeting – the cheapest car will not necessarily win.

Schedule

July 9 – Registration
July 10 – Scrutineering & judging
July 11 – Scrutineering & judging
July 12 – Dynamic events & awards ceremony part 1
July 13 – Endurance event & final awards ceremony

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Tim is co-founder of ElectricAutosport.com and works in international motorsport. He found his passion for sustainable racing by joining world's first competition for hydrogen electric vehicles in 2008. He does not doubt on the possibility of a break through of electric racing. And that deserves a platform to keep up to date and to interact. Tim operates on behalf of Formula Blue Media.

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